Fribourg Setting Early Pace In Swiss NLA- Scoring Race Heats Up

 

With the Swiss hockey season around 20 games into a 50 game schedule, the NLA has an unlikely leader in Fribourg-Gotteron. The French-Swiss team who play out of the 7000 capacity Patinoire St-Léonard stadium, are in a great position to challenge for their first Swiss championship, 5 years after they were saved from bankruptcy in 2006.

The current 2 dominating clubs of Swiss hockey, HC Davos and Kloten Flyers are expectedly close behind in positions 2 and 3, only 4 points behind Fribourg with Bern, Zug and the ZSC Lions all within 12 points of first place. At the bottom of league are the Langnau, Genf and the Rapperswil, with only 7 points separating them in a relegation battle.

 

1.Fribourg201742
2.HC Davos191438
3.Kloten Flyers202438
4.SC Bern19334
5.EV Zug171633
6.ZSC Lions20030
7.HC Lugano19129
8.Ambri-Piotta19-525
9.EHC Biel18-724
10.SCL Tigers19-1520
11.Genève19-1916
12.Lakers19-2913

 

Fribourg’s goaltender Cristobal Huet is a familiar name to NHL fans, the Blackhawk netminder has been the starter for Fribourg since been loaned out to the Swiss club by the Chicago Blackhawks on September 27, 2010. Huet is currently leading the NLA with a GAA of 1.5 and is second in the league with 3 shutout’s in 12 games played.

A combination of 4 players are currently leading the NLA in points. Damien Brunner, Petr Sykora, Andrey Bykov and Micki Dupont all sit on 22 points. Petr Sykora, 32, was a 3rd round draft pick for Washington in 1997 and played 12 games in the NHL for the Capitals and Predators before making Swiss hockey his home. Calgary native, Micki Dupont also played a total of 23 games in the NHL before moving to Switzerland in 2008/9.

Jeff Tambellini has had a great start to his hockey career in Switzerland, registering over a point a game since moving from the Vancouver Canucks to the ZSC Lions. Tambellini, who was part of the Canucks forward group in the Stanley Cup game 7 final loss against the Boston Bruins, signed a 3 year deal with the Zurich team in July 2011.

Player                Club                              G     A    P    
Damien BrunnerEV Zug13922
Petr SykoraHC Davos13922
Andrey BykovHC Fribourg-Gottéron51722
Micki DupontKloten Flyers31922
Petteri NummelinHC Lugano61521
Jeff TambelliniZSC Lions11920
Simon MoserSCL Tigers101020
Maxim NoreauHC Ambri-Piotta51419
Ryan GardnerSC Bern5914
Goran BezinaGenève-Servette HC41014
Reto SuriRapperswil-Jona Lakers4913

 

Viewing figures in the NLA have once again been high, with an average attendance of 6225 per game. SC Bern’s average attendance of 15,357 is still higher than the current NHL attendances of Anaheim (14,351), New Jersey (14,074), New York Islanders (12,837), Buffalo (12,682), Nashville (12,336), Columbus (12,135), Colorado (11,843), Phoenix (9938) and Dallas (9257). The SC Bern stadium, Postfinance Arena, is the largest in Europe with a capacity of 17,131 and has almost the same seating capacity as the Jobing.com Arena in Phoenix and the Honda Centre in Anaheim.

The upcoming games to watch in the NLA will be the ZSC Lions vs HC Davos on the 29th of October, a game between two long-time Swiss hockey rivals and Kloten Flyers vs Fribourg on the 1st of November, which will have a lot of impact in determining the top 8 order for the NLA playoffs.

For more about Swiss Hockey, add me on twitter @HockeyWest

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  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-OConnor/186081711470264?sk=wall David O’Connor

    Really enjoyed reading this. I’d love to see more articles on this site that focus on European hockey. Looking forward to your next one.